RUSSIA WOOS PNG, WANTS TO BUILD ALUMINUM SMELTER

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By Clifford Faiparik

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 4) - Russian companies have expressed interest in providing aeroplanes, helicopters and ships to the PNG Government for defense, border control, law enforcement, rescue and other purposes in the Asia Pacific region.

This is because Russia sees the growing importance in strengthening peace, security and cooperation in the Asia Pacific region.

Russia is committed to the goals of building collective security, promoting economic integration and maintenance of civilization diversity and harmony in the region.

Russian ambassador Alexander Ivanov to Papua New Guinea made this known in Port Moresby when he presented his credentials to Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane at Government House in Konedobu on Tuesday.

Mr. Ivanov said apart from providing various transportation crafts, Russian companies had expressed interest in investing in a multi-million kina aluminum smelter and in tourism.

"The biggest Russian aluminum company, RUSAL, is interested in the creation of a powerful aluminum production in PNG and we hope for a favorable response on the corresponding draft agreement.

"PNG’s vast tourist resource may also be attractive to Russian travelers."

Ivanov said that broad prospects for mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation exist in a number of areas including mining, fisheries and transportation, among others.

In accepting his credence, Sir Paulias said that with PNG’s strategic location in the Asia Pacific region, it provided a crucial link for countries in the South Pacific region into the Asian and Eastern European markets, including Russia.

"I would therefore encourage promoting bilateral interaction, emphasizing on economic, trade, investment, cultural relations and other meaningful interactions and engagements."

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